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Monkey Testicles
July 3, 2007 8:59 AM   Subscribe

The elixer of youth. Serge Voronoff's early experiments involved transplanting thyroid tissue into humans with a thyroid deficiency. He also began transplanting the testicles of executed criminals into rich old guys (as a treatment for senility and schizophrenia), but had to stop when the demand for the procedure far exceeding the supply of criminal testicles. At this point, Voronoff began using monkey testicles instead, and his first "monkey gland" to human transplant took place in June of 1920. (via another filter)
posted by caddis (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Monkey glands taste quite good.
posted by Nelson at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2007


Metafilter: Using Monkey Testicles Instead
posted by beelzbubba at 9:10 AM on July 3, 2007


Monkey glands taste quite good.

They are popular in Cantonese cuisine, but not often to be found in Washington D.C..
posted by DU at 9:11 AM on July 3, 2007


Ugh, this reminds me of the Soviet biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov's experiments to produce human-ape hybrids that involved putting chimp sperm in human females.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:13 AM on July 3, 2007


The transplantees inevitably awoke with an uncontrollable urge to hump bananas.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on July 3, 2007


...putting chimp sperm in human females.

According to your second link, he didn't actually ever do it. Not for lack of trying, though.
posted by DU at 9:16 AM on July 3, 2007


Glands previously on MetaFilter (goat glands in that case).
posted by languagehat at 9:17 AM on July 3, 2007


The whole fascination these doctors had with interspecies transplantation is just plain weird, but the possible link to AIDS is creepy.
posted by caddis at 9:31 AM on July 3, 2007


Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey nuts
Swimming in a bowl of blood.
posted by davelog at 9:59 AM on July 3, 2007


The spelling is elixir, not elixer (this coming from a person with serious typo issues).


Cool post.
posted by nickyskye at 10:01 AM on July 3, 2007


DU,
Yeah, it was mostly the concept of this crazy doctor running around trying to breed random animals that weirded me out. It seems like the 20s were a good time for wacky biology. Ah well, idle glands are the devil's plaything...
posted by Sangermaine at 10:19 AM on July 3, 2007


It seems to obviously wrong, but I have to admit, the guy was doing what no one else dared to do. He had balls.
posted by GuyZero at 10:44 AM on July 3, 2007


Elixir not elixer! /pedant.
posted by lalochezia at 10:49 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


At least he wasn't using fetal stem cells.
posted by localroger at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2007


The history of science is awesome.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:30 PM on July 3, 2007


With this technology, the likes of Chris Benoit would be easily identified by a surplus of monkey nutsacks covering his skin.
posted by exogenous at 1:26 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can the mods please correct the spelling of "elixir" on the front page so that the misspelling is not reinforced? I'm cranky that way.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:29 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's all well and good when scientists do a little epistemological critique of their supposed infallibility, but why am I always the one who has to remind them that in 100 years they're going to look just as silly as the monkey-gland guy?
posted by bardic at 1:49 PM on July 3, 2007


Whoa...totally Bug Jack Barron*

* Classic--although dated--sci-fi novel by Norman Spinrad
posted by LairBob at 2:31 PM on July 3, 2007


This was a plot device in a Cary Grant movie. Interesting movie, with some ok humor and some heavy duty marital shenanigans.
posted by bovious at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2007


Dr. Moreau dieted for your (fashion) sins.
posted by rob511 at 4:02 PM on July 3, 2007


Nelson or DU, Do you know where I can order some LEGAL monkey glads for cooking? My whale meat AskMe led nowhere.

Bradic: Can't you think of a single scientist or theory from 100 years ago that does not look ridiculous now?
posted by Dataphage at 4:50 PM on July 3, 2007


Mr Boddy (or his cook) should know.
posted by DU at 6:10 PM on July 3, 2007


Dataphae:

These don't seem too rediculous
posted by mrzarquon at 6:33 PM on July 3, 2007


A few. And believe me, I'm not science-hater. But like Kuhn demonstrates, 99% of contemporary scientific notions will be flung out the window before long.
posted by bardic at 7:01 PM on July 3, 2007


DU,

Mad props for the Clue name drops, and shame on the rest of you for not giving it up.

"Mr Boddy's body--it's gone!"
posted by rachelpapers at 7:15 PM on July 3, 2007


How did the recipients of cross-species tissue transplants avoid massive rejection? Remember, this was being done long before immunosuppressant drugs were developed.

I suspect there is more to the story than what we are seeing here.
posted by Tube at 7:35 PM on July 3, 2007


Tube--

Small amounts of tissue, apparently. Plus it probably couldn't acquire a blood supply.
posted by effugas at 1:33 AM on July 4, 2007


Can the mods please correct the spelling of "elixir" on the front page so that the misspelling is not reinforced?

Guess not.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:29 PM on July 4, 2007


Look - I spelled it wrong, and if you hadn't noticed, I have no shame, none, not a bit, not even a little, yet I am just a little bit, or perhaps more, pedant. Go figure. Mostly, I can knot spel, nevr have ben abel to and nevr wil. ;)
posted by caddis at 5:28 PM on July 4, 2007


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